If you are a social media fan or guru, you should pay very close attention to Damien Patton and his latest creation: Ban.jo
If you are a social media fan or guru, you should pay very close attention to Damien Patton and his latest creation: Ban.jo
Glynis Bell has a passion for fashion and a heart for helping women
Fashion as a tool for changing lives, that’s her goal. For 15 years, Glynis Bell ’06 has dedicated her schooling, her volunteer work and much of her career to connecting what she loves to do with the change she wants to make in the world.
“I’ve always had a passion for fashion and a philanthropy for helping women,” she says. Glynis is doing what many would say is the key to happiness: discovering what she loves and making it her life’s work.
A master’s degree in Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies (CARS) has been a critical launching point. “I had never considered going to grad school,” she says. “But there came a point at which it was very personal for me to do so. I felt that if I put an education behind my passion, it would at some point align itself, and I would be unstoppable.”
While earning her degree, Glynis worked fulltime at HanesBrands (then Sara Lee). She was also raising a family and pouring countless hours into establishing the Winston-Salem chapter of Dress for Success, a nonprofit that helps underrepresented women develop job-seeking skills and prepare for career entry or transition. The organization offers everything from resume writing and mock interviews to networking and tips for how to dress for success, even providing career apparel. She calls it her “work of the heart.” After successfully founding the chapter, Glynis served as executive director for 18 months.
She recalls a particularly powerful moment for one of the women she helped serve. “She was a single mother with an associate’s degree and had been referred to us by the Department of Social Services (DSS). She was one of those people who’d been down on her luck and needed some support.”
The woman ended up getting an interview at DSS, the very entity that referred her to Dress for Success. And then, she got the job. But the success story doesn’t end there. One day, Glynis received a note from her.
“She told me that she appreciated what I done to help her and that she wanted to give back.” Glynis arranged for her to speak at several Dress for Success events so that others could see the life-changing effect of the organization. A few months later, Glynis received another thank you letter, this time with a $100 money order donation.
That was a light bulb moment for me. I realized our clients could become our best advocates. I saw how powerful that circle is. We didn’t impact just her. When you help a woman, you help a family and a community. It’s a ripple effect.
The work was rewarding, but getting Dress for Success up and running was no minor feat, especially with everything she was balancing. Her master’s work included transformative experiences like study abroad to Mexico City and engaging with local businesses in market planning. It was a challenge, but she found CARS to be a supportive learning environment and professors like department chair Nancy Hodges to be lifelong mentors.
The CARS program taught me life lessons in tenacity. Higher education is about how willing you are to overcome the obstacles that are between you and the finish line. That lesson was truly valuable when it came to starting an organization from scratch.
Now Glynis is passing the torch and looking at her next big project. She is working with a publisher on a book about developing young women’s self-esteem through dress.
My experience with Dress for Success helped me realize that young women are in need of support as well. It’s like we have lost our keepers—those mothers and grandmothers and mentors who would not allow us to go out of house dressed inappropriately. We need to demonstrate for our young girls how to present themselves properly so that their attire is career professional, not prohibitive.
Glynis was interviewed by WFMY on the topic, and her book “A Young Lady’s Guide to Inspiration and Positive Self Image” is nearing completion. She is currently working with a publisher with plans to have the book complete by the summer.
“My platform is about empowering young women and girls to be the best they can be.” In fact, she is starting her own motivational speaking business around that focus. She calls it GBI — Glynis Bell Integrated. The motto for the brand is “Giving Back Intentionally.”
When you love your work and you believe in philanthropy and service, you invest your heart in it. The value is in the lives that you touch and the difference you make along the way.
Article by: Andrea Crossley Spencer
Photo by: Trisha Kemerly, Ph.D.
Photo, from Left to Right: Haelee Catchpole, Rachel Wilson, Chloe Bacot
A pair of UNCG MBA students won third place in the 2015 Small Business Institute Project of the Year contest for their analysis of the economic impact of Family Service of the Piedmont.
The students’ research found that the work of Family Service of the Piedmont to promote financial stability, provide mental health services, stem domestic violence and prevent child abuse has an both positive social impact and a high economic return on investment. For instance, the agency’s Domestic Violence Intervention Program, which has a 92 percent success rate, cost $82,000 but had an economic impact of $1.7 million. Every dollar spent saved the county $20.50 in inmate, court, probation and law enforcement costs.
THREADS celebrates 10 years with its always-popular fashion show
Chloe Bacot watched What Not To Wear religiously in elementary school and kept a journal of every outfit she wore. Haelee Catchpole has always been intrigued by the business side of style. Rachel Wilson, who faced a family tragedy in high school, responded by sewing costumes in the middle of the night when she couldn’t sleep.
For all three women, fashion is their calling. But nothing has made them realize that more than a student-run organization called THREADS.
Seniors in the Bryan School’s Department of Consumer, Retail, and Apparel Studies (CARS), Rachel serves as president of THREADS, Chloe as vice-president of design, and Haelee as vice-president of retail. The organization brings together students from both tracks of the CARS program – Apparel Design and Retail Studies – and connects them with mentors, outreach experiences, professional networking, and internships that often lead to fulltime positions.
“Because both majors can comingle and build off of each other, THREADS mimics how we will be working in the future,” Haelee says. In other words, students get comprehensive exposure to the industry, from runway to retail.
“Networking and events are our primary focus,” she adds. “We want students to envision their career possibilities.”
One of those events is the THREADS Fashion Show, held on Mar. 21 in the Elm Street Center, downtown. All student designers submitted a design to showcase this year’s theme – “XOXO” in celebration of THREADS’ 10th anniversary. Sophomores, juniors and seniors were also given full creative liberty to design a collection of up to six pieces, selecting the fabrics, the title and the inspiration.
This year’s fashion show included a special guest segment from a veteran and icon of the field. Terry Melville, former VP and Fashion Director for Macy’s, donated fabrics from her mother’s collection and challenged students to develop a design using the fabrics to create a celebrity look. She and two other judges — Freddie Lieba, a fashion stylist who was a guest judge on Project Runway, and Roxanne Lowett, a celebrity photographer and author — award the top designer, Rachel Wilson, with the Betty Creative Award, in honor of Melville’s mother.
“The fashion show is a great way to showcase your work outside of class and build your portfolio,” says Chloe, an Apparel Design major. “It’s exciting to see your pieces walk the runway.”
The preparations are always intensive, not only for the individual student, but for the organization as a whole. It’s worth it, Rachel points out. It’s not uncommon for the show to attract between 500-800 guests and even sell out. This year, attendance 751. Between ticket sales and sponsorships from businesses like VF Jeanswear, DuckHead, Wells Hosiery, Gerbing Heated Apparel and Sisters on Tate, the fashion show is THREAD’s largest fundraiser.
Proceeds from events like the fashion show are invested back into the student organization. For example, each year CARS majors travel to an industry showcase. The Atlanta Apparel Mart, two years ago. This year, Charlotte Fashion Week. The organization also brings industry professionals as guest speakers to campus and attracts recruiters from retail giants like Target, TJ Maxx and Macy’s.
“We’re always catering to our fellow students and helping them find opportunities to grow professionally,” Rachel says, adding that upperclassmen are mentors for younger students and a support system for each other. “We offer resume and portfolio workshops, mock interviews, anything to help prepare them.”
In addition to the fashion show, THREADS sponsors the Retail Strategies Competition for Retail Studies majors, who are more focused on merchandising, marketing, and other business aspects of the field. The competition challenges students to think about current trends in the retail industry; this year, based on a case study she had written, Haelee chose sustainability.
“Students developed their own sustainable line and connected it to a retailer of their choice. Then they had to make a pitch to sell the brand,” she says. The judging panel consisted of Mor Aframain, the creative director of Redress Raleigh, a sustainable clothing line; Terry Meville; and Kayla Stevens, creative director of Gerbing Heated Apparel.
“It’s a great way for students to interact with industry leaders and experience how to put a line together. It’s how I got connected to VF Jeanswear for my internship.” Haelee has also interned in the leather division at Randa Accessories in Chicago, providing retail forecasting.
Chloe says that participation in THREADS leads to a wealth of internship opportunities. She’s interned at Peter Millar in Cary, The Sanctuary Resort on Kiawah Island and Alice and Olivia in New York City, where she worked with the vice president of design, creating patterns and helping develop future apparel lines. When Duckhead relocated to Greensboro, Rachel was hired for an internship that led to part-time employment. She helped the company launch two brands and was also put in charge of t-shirt design.
“This is why I wanted to be a leader for THREADS,” Haelee says. “It opens doors to so many opportunities.”
“THREADS saved me,” Rachel adds. “It took me out of feeling alone and really connected me. That’s my main goal as president: To make sure students know about the organization, not only to help the growth of THREADS, but of themselves individually.”
by Andrea Crossley Spencer
Dianne Welsh, Hayes Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurship and Founding Director of the Entrepreneurship Program, was a finalist for the Best Practices Award for Campus Entrepreneurs: Dual Opportunities for Certificate Students with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and Traditional Students
Dianne presented with Lalenja Harrington, Director of Beyond Academics program at UNCG.
Global Brands Group is coming to campus on Feb. 25th to recruit for a number of summer internships. A number of their hiring managers will be at the event and they’ll be focused on recruiting interns for their summer opportunities. Students are invited to attend to speak to the hiring managers and pass along their resumes. Last year we had 70-80 students attend throughout the event. It’s a drop-in event, so students can drop by anytime.
Global Brands Group’s portfolio includes some of the biggest brands in the world such as: UnderArmour, Disney, Calvin Klein, Sperry, Nautica, Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, and Coca-Cola.
The event time is 10:45am-1:30pm in 416 Bryan.
Congratulations to Lakshmi Iyer in the Bryan School of Business and Economics, ISSCM Dept. We are absolutely delighted that she will be receiving the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Educator Award by the National center for Women & Information Technology at the event on April 24th, 2015. We are proud of your achievement. You are an inspiration!
Seven local designers are creating 10 piece collections to debut on February 20, 2015 in downtown Greensboro for Goodwill Rock the Runway!
Vote today for your favorite designer by visiting here.
Limited seating is still available. Order your tickets online by visiting https://goodwillrocktherunway2015.eventbrite.com